Through this translation of As Três Marias the literary achievements of Rachel de Queiroz may at last be judged and appreciated by the English-reading public. Since none of her four novels has previously been translated into English, The Three Marias will be, for many non-Brazilians, an introduction to this nationally known South American author whose books have been widely praised for their artistic merits. Her literary works are colored by her projected personality, by an intense feeling for her own people, by an omnipresent social consciousness, and by personal experiences in the arid backlands of her native state of Ceará.
Basing this story on certain of her own recollections from the nineteen-twenties, Rachel de Queiroz tells of a girl growing up in the seaport town of Fortaleza, in northeastern Brazil. Professor Ellison, whose special field is Brazilian and Spanish-American literature, has captured in his translation the author's graceful style and simplicity of language, and has successfully retained the perspective of an idealistic and gradually maturing girl.